Douglas Glenn Colvin is better known as Dee Dee Ramone (September 18, 1952 – June 5, 2002)  Arguably the main songwriter who brought punk rock to the masses, Dee Dee was and is a legend.  Wielding his white Fender P well below the recommended belt buckle guideline and known as the guy who counted in every Ramones song ever 1-2-3-4 – Dee Dee had it all.

Initially the band’s lead vocalist, though his (then) inability to sing and play bass at the same time resulted in original drummer Joey Ramone taking over the lead vocalist duties (however, he still sang lead vocals in the band on occasion most notable ‘Wart Hog’). Dee Dee was the band’s bassist and songwriter from 1974 until 1989 when he left to pursue a short-lived career in hip hop music under the name Dee Dee King. He soon returned to his punk roots and released three solo albums featuring brand-new songs, many of which were later recorded by the Ramones. He toured the world playing his new songs, Ramones songs and some old favorites in small clubs, and continued to write songs for the Ramones until 1996 when the band officially called time on the whole circus.

Dee Dee struggled with drug addiction for much of his life, particularly heroin. He began using drugs as a teenager and continued to use for the majority of his adult life. He appeared clean in the early 1990s but began using heroin again sometime later. He died from a heroin overdose on June 5, 2002.

Born in Virgina Dee Dee was the son of a German mother and a father who served in the Military. Which was why Dee Dee found himself in Berlin until 15 then after his parents separated Dee Dee settled in Forest Hills where he first met Johnny And Tommy.

After playing in prog metal bands and getting married in 78 Dee Dee lasted until 1990 married to Vera then he married Barbara who looks over his estate until this day but had to wait until 95 when his divorce was finalised.  She blamed drugs and mental illness for the strain on their relationship.  During this time Dee Dee found fame (no fortune) after he named the band siting Paul McCarney as the inspiration for Ramone.

Dee Dee wrote about what he knew and where he lived.  The Ramones songs are gritty and to the point and whilst one of their most famous songs was first recorded by Johnny Thunders due to Johnny not wanting to play songs about drugs but he later relented.  even when he left the band he still wrote songs for them and always remained closely involved even joining in when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame the first year they qualified to be inducted and shortly after Joey had passed away.  the tragic decline of the band continued when Dee Dee himself passed away shortly after his appearance where he congratulated himself on his achievements as a Ramone.

He wasn’t only a punk rocker Dee Dee also tried his hand at Rap and became Dee Dee King if you can check out his rap work Tupac or Chuck D he wasn’t.  His later years as a recording artist were scattered and chaotic with live records and eps coming out poor quality recordings and little else Dee Dee descended into skin and bones He also wrote a book Memoirs of a Rock and Roll star and tried his hand at acting. Dee Dee had it all yet he had nothing.  He was laid to rest in Hollywood not far from his fellow Ramone Johnny however Dee Dee has a more modest stone with the Ramones seal and the words “O.K…I gotta go now.” engraved on the bottom.  Dee Dee probably doesn’t get the kudos for his significant part he played in music, ok acting and rapping I’ll concede but as a songwriter, he was one of the best and that’s a fact the amount of songs he wrote is phenomenal  although the band credited them evenly it was well known that Dee Dee was the main man and for that alone RPM salutes Douglas Glenn Colvin. May he rest in peace.

 

 

Nick Marsh 1962-2015.  Most famous for being the voice and guitar player in Flesh For Lulu and later an integral part of Urban Voodoo Machine. After his diagnosis, Marsh documented the early months of his battle with the disease through Facebook. “I didn’t know how else to approach it really,” he told Classic Rock. “I just thought, ‘Here I am.’ Facebook is like an open diary if you want it to be. I just felt like I wanted to do that. I don’t know why now.”

Marsh came to the public attention in 83 when his band Flesh For Lulu crawled out of the legendary Batcave Goth Club. the following year they released their debut album they certainly got noticed and became an underground hit.  IT was several years later when they got a big break when ‘I Go Crazy’ was featured in a hit John Hughes movie ‘Some Kind Of Wonderful’ which helped propel the band into the American underground where they did rather well especially with their singles as opposed to their albums. the band broke up in the early ’90s. Marsh went on to form Gigantic in the mid ’90s but that didn’t quite see out the decade which meant Flesh For Lulu was reformed just as the noughties were dawning.

It wasn’t until Marsh found a home as an integral member of Urban Voodoo Machine that he re-emerged no our radar. 2003 was the year and Marsh alongside his commitment to swinging the six string with the Blues punk Bop n Stroll merchants he also found time to record a solo album, ‘A Universe Between Us’, in 2006, revealing a much gentler side of his music, a more introspective sound that created huge soundscapes as big as the sky and quite beautiful songs they were too.

Before his passing, Marsh had been working with his wife, Katharine Blake (formerly of Miranda Sex Garden and The Mediaeval Baebes), under the moniker From the Deep who released the album to much critical acclaim.  but finally before his passing, he revived Flesh for Lulu with a new lineup and plans for the future, but those plans were sidelined when he was diagnosed with throat and mouth cancer. After going through radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Marsh – feeling upbeat about his chances for recovery – launched an IndieGoGo campaign to finance the recordings and plans to tour alas that was in 2013 and then in 2015 at the age of 53 Marsh was taken from his loved ones after cancer returned. He leaves behind an impressive, versatile and above all quality legacy that his partner and two daughters can be proud of as future fans will no doubt discover his talents – Nick Marsh Rest In Peace.

Jeffrey Ross Hyman better known as Joey Ramone passed away at the age of 49.  His fight against lymphatic cancer ended on this day after a long a widely reported battle.  Hyman was born in Queens on the 19th of May 1951. Joey was born with a parasitic twin, the twin was surgically removed however he did have a sibling, brother Mickey Leigh.

 

His musical journey began when he played the drums from the age of 13 before picking up an acoustic guitar and then moving onto vocals and the rest, as they say, is history as he performed all over the world playing thousands of shows to millions of people.  He loved the Beatles, The Who, and the stones as much as he loved 50’s girl groups and The Ramones managed to do a fine job of mashing up all those influences throughout their iconic career.

 

Joey has a street named after him in NYC but the band managed to play their farewell show in California.  His iconic hunched form with tinted shades ripped jeans converse shoes and the black leather jacket has been copied a million times over as has his band’s music. He will forever be remembered in connection with CBGB and leaves behind a wonderful legacy of Ramones records as well as two solo albums before he passed away as well as being immortalised in the Simpsons and even got a speaking part as well as singing the Spiderman theme song doesn’t get cooler than that folks.  Rest In Peace Joey Ramone one of the finest frontmen ever in music – period. King of the outsiders

The last song Joey heard was a U2 tune, not a band I usually like to share but hey it’s about Joey so it’ll do and the Ramones did support U2 at the Longest day way back in the 80’s so kudos to them for doing that at least besides where else was a kid going to see The Ramones?

anyone who ever saw the band can testify as to how good they were and even when they weren’t good they were still good – yeah? Iconic punk rockers amazing image – even more amazing catalogue of songs and albums – incredible characters – dysfunctional, goofy, awkward, enigmatic, influential.  Lucky for us there has been something of an avalanche of reissues, bonus material, box sets, books, DVD’s. The Ramones will forever be remembered and rightly so. Rest In Peace Joey you ruled!